How do I trademark something?

When people go into business for themselves, they choose a name, and sometimes choose a logo or saying.  They establish an identity or a brand, something that their future clients can recognize them by. Most business owners seek protection of their brand and idea through the acquisition of a trademark.

There are two types of trademarks.

The first and most important is a federal trademark that is acquired through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  The learning center and Trademark Access focus on Federal Trademarks.

The second type of trademark is a state trademark. Trademark Access can’t help you file a state trademark.  However, visit our state specific pages for information on how to file for a state trademark.

If you don’t know which one you need let us help you.

The Process of Trademarking Something.

Once you have created something you would like to trademark,  you have three major steps.

The first step is to perform a trademark search.  This is to look for potential conflicts with your trademark. This is necessary to make sure you won’t infringe on someone else’s trademark or make sure that it isn’t already trademarked.   How do I do a Trademark Search?

The second step is filling out the trademark application.  The trademark application is simply that, a request to have the USPTO recognize your mark.  For some people the application may be slightly confusing. An error in the application can be the difference between success and failure.  How do I fill out a trademark application?

The third step is to respond to any Office Actions.  Your trademark request will be published in the USPTO’s magazine.  Any businesses that feel your trademark is similar to their own can object to the issuance of your trademark.  Office actions can be simple, or they may be very complex with lots of legal issues.  If you receive an office action, you should consult an attorney.

Related Questions:

What can be trademarked?

Should I do-it-myself or hire an attorney?

Should I do a state trademark or Federal Trademark?

What do I do after I get my trademark?


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